Guest-Animal Interaction

I was really lucky to spend two weeks as part of my college degree at my zoo's Outreach and Demonstration department (Kids Zoo, Education and Outreach Animals), and as such I have always loved and appreciated the work these staff members do, as one of these animal interactions is what drove my dream to be a keeper. I saw kids truly in awe being so close to these animals without a pane of glass or fence between them and I'd love to be able to "replicate" that in game. We could use some sort of staff member or "entertainer" that uses a set of selected animals and takes them out into the zoo for visitors to see "up close" then return them. There could be a small "stress" detriment for these animals preventing them from being out all the time, so they have time to recover, and one could use animals who are no longer "genetically valuable" and keep them in another part of the zoo.

Animals could include Birds of Prey, Parrots (and other appropriate birds), some "Farm animals" (donkey, alpaca, goat), large, "peaceful" reptiles (monitors, ball pythons etc) and other frequently used animals (skunks, sloths, marmots etc.).

Its a point where a lot of zoos can get education across to people that will stay with them a lot longer than signs and are more memorable than "keeper talks". I know a lot of people knock on children's zoos and similar outreach programs, but seeing it up close, and being one of those children, they do so much good it would be a shame not to replicate it.
 
Ball Phytons aren't that large. I prefer Retics or molus or rock or anything else but ball. Anaconda perhaps?
 
Ball Phytons aren't that large. I prefer Retics or molus or rock or anything else but ball. Anaconda perhaps?
Size isn't the issue, its the message that comes across. My concern is some of these can be less then ideal for handling, also Retics are can get massive. Milk Snakes, Red-tail/Rainbow/Sand Boa, Corns, Gophers would be other good options.

EDIT: mixed up my large snake species Retic vs. Berm re. invasive species. (what I get for posting late at night)
 
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This is a great idea. It looks like there is a staff member giving a presentation at about 28 seconds into the announcement trailer. He doesn't seem to have an animal with him, but maybe they will show this later on.

I remember when I was younger and a snake expert was coming to my school to give a presentation on snakes. I thought it would be cool if he brought a snake with him, but I expected that the school wouldn't allow it.
The day of the presentation came, and yes he had a live snake with him. I remember it was called a Rubber Boa. I've never forgotten that presentation.
 
I like it! A lot of zoos do this kind of thing. In the one I worked at, the education animals were mostly kept off-exhibit, so something like this could be implemented pretty easily with a dedicated building for housing and a separate "stage" the keepers could trek to for demonstrations. Maybe you could even schedule them like ZT marine shows.
 
Size isn't the issue, its the message that comes across. My concern is some of these can be less then ideal for handling, also Retics are can get massive (and are an invasive species in the US). Milk Snakes, Red-tail/Rainbow/Sand Boa, Corns, Gophers would be other good options.
Yes, Retics can get massive since they are the largest/longest snake species but that's the point, rite?? Large, "peacefull" reptiles. That's why retics or another large species of snakes are popular among zoos around the world. Idk if they became invasive species in US cz im not live there but as im not mistaken, I saw it in NatGeo's channel and the one who become invasive species in US are Burmese python (they become invasive species because humans who are not responsible for their pets). But back to the point, they become popular because its size and Balls are not one of them (since Balls are the smallest species in python family) at least from where i live.
 
I like it! A lot of zoos do this kind of thing. In the one I worked at, the education animals were mostly kept off-exhibit, so something like this could be implemented pretty easily with a dedicated building for housing and a separate "stage" the keepers could trek to for demonstrations. Maybe you could even schedule them like ZT marine shows.
Or even using a system like the Vista Points from Planet Coaster, a small pillar keepers, or educators bring the selected/scheduled animal to the point and do their thing and take them back. I'm all for having a separate area for education animals, either as a Kid's Zoo, or as a true backstage area. We could use animals who's genes are highly represented in the zoo and so their offspring are no longer needed, or animals who naturally prefer solitary conditions. With one of the first themes being the "European Theme" I have this vision of the Bronx Zoo's Education animal area (see The Zoo, if you haven't seen it) which would be perfect!
 
There is education learning about the animals so it does not always have to be interactive sometimes it can be from a distant or behind a glass wall but i like this idea as they could have hawks, tame animals you can go up too. :)
 
Thank you! I would love if this game let you have an education collection! Probably a bit out of vanity cause that’s my job atm but still. Most zoos have education animals for classes, outreaches, and small animal meet-and-great style shows. Typically these are smaller, handle able, non-threatening animals that may be difficult to see if exhibited (Pygmy tenrecs anyone?). Since we know they are having some smaller exhibit options with the spiders being announced it’s feasible you could have smaller animal holding to house them. You could schedule certain animals for interaction time and it could increase guest happiness. I know my zoo does table talks about some animals when the weather is nice in the summer. Remember in the marine expansion of ZT2 they had animal shows and if they were to frequent the animals would be stressed so this is definitely something that theoretically works. Even if you don’t get to pick specific Ed animals I would want it. Maybe having a “bird handler” or “reptile handler” who walk around and talk to guests or building small show areas (not huge theaters). Believe I love charismatic mega fauna as much as the next zoo nerd but having the opportunity to have some smaller animals would make the zoo feel more alive yah know? And being able to have animals not just in exhibits. PC has so much amazing theming, I wouldn’t even be mad if it was like the barbershop quartet and the educator was just kinda stuck on a stage in a loop that you just picked a frequency for shows.
 
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